Parasite found in McDonald's salads sickens nearly 400 people, FDA says


Hundreds report possible illness after eating at OH restaurant; Lawsuit filedAt least 16 people have been hospitalized due to the Cyclospora parasite, which causes intestinal illness.

The FDA noted that ill patients from Connecticut, Tennessee and Virginia purchased salads while traveling in IL, and that the Florida patient purchased a salad in Kentucky.

Infected people shed unsporulated (non-infective; immature) Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in their stool; immature oocysts usually require at least 1-2 weeks under favorable laboratory conditions to sporulate and become infective. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite.

Fresh Express used recall procedures to inform companies about the romaine lettuce and McDonald's has stopped selling salads at impacted restaurants in the following states: IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO. Symptoms may also include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, body aches, headache and fever.

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According to the FDA, an unused package of "Fresh Express" salad mix tested positive for the parasite. The company later said it replaced the supplier of salads in those states.

The infection can last anywhere from a few days to a few months.

It's the same contamination that earlier this week led to a recall of salads and wraps sold by Trader Joe's, Walgreens and Kroger.

However, romaine lettuce from the same batch was also packaged in pre-made salads by Caito Food of Indianapolis, IN.